S. D. Subbulakshmi

In this Indian name, the name Srivaikundam Duraisamy is a patronymic, not a family name, and the person should be referred to by the given name, Subbulakshmi.
S. D. Subbulakshmi
Born Srivaikundam Duraisamy Subbulakshmi
Occupation film actor, singer
Years active 1934–1964
Spouse(s) K. Subramanyam

Srivaikundam Duraisamy Subbulakshmi (or S. D. Subbulakshmi) was a Tamil film actress and singer who was active in the 1930s and 1940s. She was the wife of film director K. Subramanyam.[1] She is credited with having introduced the singer and family friend of hers, M. S. Subbulakshmi to Tamil cinema and mentored her in her early days.[1]

Early life

S. D. Subbulakshmi was born in Srivaikundam to Duraisamy and Janaki Ammal. Since childhood S. D. Subbulakshmi had shown keen interest in stage dramas. The family moved to Madurai where she learned carnatic music and dance. Her parents took photos of her in various makeups and showed them to a number of drama companies. This had assisted her to start as a child actress in stage plays. She grew up acting in stage dramas and managed to act in a number of dramas with well-known artists such as M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar, K. B. Sundarambal and T. R. Mahalingam and earned a very good name. Pavalakkodi was one such drama where my she had acted with M. K. Thiagaraja Bhagavather and became very famous.

Cinema life

Letchumanan Chettiar or Lena Chettiar of Krishna Pictures who has seen the drama wanted to picturise the drama and requested K. Subrahmanyam to direct that film. Lena Chettiar and K. Subramaniam watched the drama together. K. Subramanyam suggested to retain the same artists who acted in drama to be in the cinema too and Lena Chettiar agreed to this. Through Pavalakkodi, S. D. Subbulakshmi entered into Tamil Cinema in 1934. She became a famous heroine in the 1930s till mid-1940s, then she switched to mother roles and supporting actress.

Introducing M. S. Subbulakshmi

S. D. Subbulakshmi became instrumental in introducing M. S. Subbulakshmi when she persuaded K. Subrahmanyam him to give daughter of her friend Madurai Shanmugavadivu, a chance on the concert stage at the exhibition he was organising in connection with the 1932 Mahamagam Festival in Kumbakonam. Thus, it was also K. Subrahmanyam who first helped to make M. S. Subbulakshmi a star in the world of song. It was on that stage that M. S. Subbulakshmi became a star.

Later, when he negotiated with Sadasivam for the film rights for a story serialised in Ananda Vikatan, starring M. S. Subbulakshmi in the film came almost as part of the package. Thus there started M. S. Subbulakshmi's film career in Sevasadanam with S. D. Subbulakshmi guiding throughout.[1]

Family life

S. D. Subbulakshmi married the famous prolific lawyer turned director K. Subramanyam with the consent of his first wife Meenatchi. K. Subramanyam kept both the families together and managed them without any discrimination between them until his last breath. She was blessed with a son Abaswaram Ramji.


Year Film Role Notes
1934 Pavalakkodi Princess Pavalakkodi
1935 Naveena Sadharam Sadharam
1936 Usha Kalyanam Usha
1936 Bhaktha Kuchela Lord Krishna and Suseela
1936 Naveena Sarangadhara
1937 Mister Ammanji
1939 Thyaga Bhoomi Savithri
1942 Anantha Sayanam
1943 Krishna Sudhaama Kannada
1945 Maanasamrakshanam
1946 Vikatayogi
1952 Andhaman Kaidhi
1953 Panam
1954 Thuli Visham
1954 Thookku Thookki
1955 Gulebakavali
1956 Sampoorna Ramayanam Kausalya
1956 Maadhar Kula Manikkam
1957 Rani Lalithangi Empress Angaiyarkanni
1957 Raja Rajan Queen Senbagavalli
1959 Yaanai Valartha Vaanampaadi
1959 Kalyana Parisu
1960 Sivagami
1960 Kadavulin Kuzhandhai
1962 Pattinathar Meenatchi
1964 Pattanathil Bhootham
1970 Engirundho Vandhaal


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